March 31, 2014
Persistence and Hard Work Are Dori Carter’s Winning Formula
This isn’t a story about someone winning a golf tournament, in fact former Ole Miss women’s golfer Dori Carter (2006-09) tied for 10th at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif., last week. No, this story is about someone dedicating themselves to their sport and finding out that hard work and persistence do pay off.
One might say that Dori Carter had her coming out party at last week’s Kia Classic. After shooting a 70 in the first round, Carter shot an 8-under 64 and took the second-round lead after 36 holes, two shots ahead of fellow American’s Stacy Lewis and Cristie Kerr. Carter set the course record and sat atop the leaderboard at 10-under par.
Carter’s round included 11 birdies and three bogeys with two coming on the final two holes. The Ole Miss alum said she was able to control her thoughts during her career-low round. Her previous low round was 67,which she shot in both the first and second rounds of the 2012 Navistar LPGA Classic.
Carter, who’s a four-year pro, hadn’t previously held a lead in any round and her 10th place finish was the best finish of her career.
After her round, Carter reflected on the moment.
“I have no reason to be uptight or anything because this is my first time. I'm okay with that. I'm okay with feeling like no matter what happens, obviously I want to win. I want to lead the tournament after tomorrow and Sunday, but it can't be a bad thing for me.”
While Carter was setting records in California her former head coach at Ole Miss, Michele Drinkard was cheering for her former player from Hawai’i as the Rebels had just wrapped up a tournament in Maui.
“I’m so proud of Dori and all she accomplished this week,” said Drinkard. “She worked so hard this offseason to establish her goals and how she was going to go about accomplishing those goals. It’s always nice to see hard, dedicated work pay off.”
In her time at Ole Miss, Drinkard has been teaching the concept of process and finding the process that works for each individual player and nothing could send that message home to young golfers than Carter’s play from the weekend.
“Looking at the week as a whole, Dori had to battle some pretty big emotional swings from setting a course record at 64, to learning how to manage playing from the lead to working with the media and she handled them all with a smile. I am sure by her standards she didn't handle them as well as she would have liked, but that's why she is such a great competitor. Dori will find some quiet time now to evaluate her week and to then set her sights on the Kraft Nabisco Championships.”
With her play at the Kia Classic, Carter qualified for next week’s Kraft Nabisco Championship April 3-6 at Mission Hills Country Club on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course.
Carter discussed some of her strategy after the round and discussed a little bit of her thought process before and during a round.
“It’s a thought process of trying to get into position, every round, no matter where you are and where you stand. If you're 8-under, if you're 2-under, if you're 8-over, I like to try to get in position a third of the time or half the time,” said Carter. “Inside 20 feet, and trying to get within five shots of the lead on the weekend, 30-40 percent of the tournaments. It's just like a big picture thing, and it's helped me not put so much pressure on myself for one round or one tournament.”
Carter has just scratched the surface of what looks to be a long and fruitful professional career.